Cable sobre la visita de un emisario de las FARC a la embajada

Un enviado de Pablo Catatumbo, dirigente de la guerrilla, se reúne con diplomáticos estadounidenses para establecer una "relación" para un futuro proceso de paz

ID: 208737
Date: 2009-05-26 18:25:00
Origin: 09BOGOTA1632
Source: Embassy Bogota
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Dunno:
Destination: VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #1632/01 1461825
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 261825Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8837
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 8921
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 2288
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA PRIORITY 7595
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA PRIORITY 3685
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO PRIORITY 8296
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCNFB/FBI WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L BOGOTA 001632

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/26/2019
TAGS: PTER, PREL, PGOV, PHUM, MOPS, CO
SUBJECT: POLITICIAN WITH FARC CONTACTS REACHES OUT TO
EMBASSY

Classified By: Political Counselor John Creamer
Reasons 1.4 (b and d)

SUMMARY
-------
1. (C) At the urging of National Conciliation Commission
official Father Dario Echeverri, Polcouns met with XXXXXXXXXXXX--
a politician who was previously authorized by the GOC
to transmit messages to the FARC. XXXXXXXXXXXX stressed he had no
specific message for the USG, but wanted to establish a
"relationship" with the Embassy. He agreed conditions are
not ripe for GOC-FARC peace talks, but said FARC Secretariat
member Pablo Catatumbo believes that USG participation would
be key to any eventual peace process. XXXXXXXXXXXX said the FARC
is trying to regain political visibility with its recent
unilateral hostage releases, and dismissed the notion that
FARC leaders Alfonso Cano and Mono Jojoy are rivals. End
Summary.

2. (C) Polcouns met with XXXXXXXXXXXX politician XXXXXXXXXXXX
at the Catholic Bishops Conference facility in Bogota
on May 14. The GOC was aware of the meeting, which was
organized and attended by National Conciliation Commission
Secretary-General Father Dario Echeverri. XXXXXXXXXXXX said FARC
Secretariat member Jorge Torres Victoria (Pablo Catatumbo),
his primary FARC contact, had encouraged him to establish
contact with the Embassy. XXXXXXXXXXXX stressed that he did not
bring a message from the FARC for the USG, but said he wanted
to establish a "relationship" with the Embassy that could
prove useful in the future. He said Catatumbo is convinced
that USG participation in any eventual peace process with the
GOC would be key to success. XXXXXXXXXXXX was authorized by the
GOC to transmit messages to the FARC from July 2008 until
March 2009.

FARC PLAYING POLITICS WITH HOSTAGES
-----------------------------------
3. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX said there is nothing humanitarian about the
FARC's recent hostage releases. The FARC released the
hostages to regain some political visibility and relieve
itself of the economic and security costs incurred in holding
them. Several FARC commanders have openly complained to
XXXXXXXXXXXX that the hostages are a growing burden due to
Colombian military pressure. He said the FARC Secretariat
realizes that Uribe will never agree to a humanitarian
accord, but wants to continue with the releases to maximize
the political impact. Still, he felt the FARC will not free
any more hostages unilaterally unless Uribe reverses his
current stance and allows Senator Piedad Cordoba to
participate.

TIME NOT RIPE FOR PEACE TALKS
-----------------------------
4. (C) XXXXXXXXXXX said conditions are not ripe for GOC-FARC talks
aimed at starting peace negotiations due to the on-going
presidential election campaign and the deep distrust on both
sides. Still, he said that at an appropriate moment in the
future, a gesture from the USG to the FARC, such as allowing
a representative of a U.S. non-governmental organization to
accompany a meeting between the GOC and the FARC, could
provide an impetus to start talks.

5. (C) XXXXXXXXXXX said he worked with then Peace Commissioner
Luis Carlos Restrepo in early 2008 to develop and implement
projects targeting the rural (campesino) population in Valle
de Cauca, with FARC knowledge and consent. He noted that
Catatumbo had even facilitated some of the GOC's meetings
with campesino leaders. XXXXXXXXXXXX also claimed he worked to
develop a similar project in southern Tolima, but said the
effort stalled due to opposition from then Defense Minister
Juan Manuel Santos, who argued that the project was "merely
feeding the guerrillas." In contrast, Restrepo believed that
working with the campesinos was a way for the GOC to build
confidence and establish contact with the FARC.

FARC LEADERSHIP NOT DIVIDED
---------------------------
6. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX dismissed the notion that FARC Secretariat
leaders Guillermo Saenz (Alfonso Cano) and Jorge Briceno

(Mono Jojoy) are rivals, claiming that Jojoy, Cano and
Catatumbo are good friends. XXXXXXXXXXXX observed that Jojoy lacks
Cano's and Catatumbo's educational background, but said Jojoy
understands that the FARC's struggle is political, not
military. XXXXXXXXXXX said all three FARC leaders wanted to drop
the FARC's demand for a demilitarized zone as a condition for
a humanitarian exchange long before Operation Check (Jaque),
but then FARC leader Marulanda had refused.

7. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX said Jojoy accepts Cano's leadership and
supports his effort to develop a more active political
strategy. He added that while Cano originally was perceived
by rank-and-file FARC as an intellectual rather than a
fighter, his ability to survive constant Colombian military
pressure over the last year has begun to enhance his image
among FARC fighters.
Brownfield

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